COMMENT: Happy 43rd birthday united Zimbabwe Flame of Independence

ALL roads today lead to Mt Darwin in Mashonaland Central province which is playing host to the country’s 43rd Independence Day main celebrations. Provinces and districts will however, converge at different centres across the country to also celebrate Uhuru being held under the theme: “Zim@43: Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo/Ilizwe Lakhiwa Ngabanikazi balo’’.

This is the second time that the main celebrations are being held outside Harare in fulfilment of the Second Republic’s promise that all provinces will be afforded an opportunity to host the main celebrations.

Last year the main celebrations were held at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo. This year’s main celebrations will be held at Mt Darwin High School, the first to be held in a rural area since independence in 1980.

Rural soccer fans will, probably for the first time, watch the country’s soccer giants, Highlanders FC and Dynamos FC play against each other in the Independence Cup at Mt Darwin High School grounds.

Addressing the nation on the eve of the first main independence celebrations to be held outside Harare last year, President Mnangagwa said political leaders should desist from advancing their self-centred politicking at the expense of national interests.

He called on leaders from across the political divide to put the interests of the people first and avoid being impediments to unity and development.

President Mnangagwa said the unity, peace and development being entrenched in the country transcends the political divide. ”I challenge all of us as leaders from different political parties to always put the interests of the people first. We cannot be content when our people are languishing in the midst of poor service delivery,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said there was no room for regionalism, tribalism and self-centred politicking as citizens build Zimbabwe brick by brick, stone upon stone.

President Mnangangwa has in the past urged Zimbabweans to take a leaf from Rwanda’s post-genocide reconciliation model as the country works on its healing process.

President Mnangagwa

Rwanda witnessed the massacre of at least a million people in about 100 days in 1994. Today the people of Rwanda who in 1994 butchered each other using weapons such as machetes, clubs, knobkerries and old guns are one united family working for the development of Rwanda.

The Hutus and Tutsis are working together to revive Rwanda’s industries as well as attract foreign direct investment. Rwanda today is a shining beacon of a united nation that is enjoying the benefits of a shared national vision.

Zimbabweans should also have a shared national vision when it comes to national interests. President Mnangagwa said no one and nothing must ever divide Zimbabweans.

“The legacy bequeathed to us by our forefathers must remain the foundation upon which we move our country forward and set a sound future for generations to come,” he said.

Zimbabweans like Rwandans should bury their painful past and move forward as one united family. What is needed is a strong political will to defeat the merchants of divisions that are abusing the social media to peddle falsehoods to divide the people.

Zimbabweans from across the political divide should today come together to celebrate their hard won independence which came after a protracted armed struggle. The gallant sons and daughters of the soil paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure Zimbabwe gained the independence and freedom we are enjoying today.

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